Choosing The Right Gym – Part 2

Preface: When I sat down to write this article I wanted it to be a quick list/guide to picking out a gym. I didn’t expect it to morph into something this large. For that, I am going to break this into a three part series. There are 5 major items I think you should look at when choosing a gym. I’m sure I have more than that, but for now, these are the ones most important to me. I am going to break them into three parts. Items 1 and 2 will go over components you can look at OUTSIDE the gym. Parts 3 and 4 are components you will likely need to evaluate INSIDE the gym. And part 5 is a culmination of them all. So here we go part 2 of 3 on how to choose the right gym.

In Part 1 we discussed two things you could evaluate before you ever step foot into a gym. The next two will likely involve you entering the gym and physically assessing them.

Coaching and Cleanliness.

Coaching: If you walked into one of our competitors’ gyms right now, they’d probably tell you it’s their coaching and community that sets them apart. But the problem is, how can everyone’s coaching and community be the best? They can’t. (I’ll get to the community piece later). I serve a few roles at my gym, but one of the most important things I do is develop coaches. Although I still coach a lot, there are many more classes not coached by me. It is my job to ensure that my staff effectively delivers a great coaching product to our clients. That can come through proper certifications and education, but it also comes from the in-house coach development we do as a staff. Some questions you should ask/ponder when it comes to coaching:

How do they coach a group?

How do they coach an individual? Or do they?

Is there a system to their class plan? Can they explain that to you?

How do they scale for injuries? Is there a system for that?

Do they have coaching standards or guidelines?

Do they look the part? (trust me, it’s important – are they in a coach shirt, with appropriate bottoms and shoes – tied!, It should look uniform)

How much experience and background do they have?

Do they have additional certifications and degrees?

How long have they been training people?

How long have they been training themselves?

Cleanliness: I own a CrossFit gym. The stigma with CrossFit gyms is that they are dark dingy warehouse gyms…that does NOT need to be the case. Many CF gyms use that stigma as an excuse to not clean the bathrooms or hire a cleaning crew or mop the floors or organize the weights. I believe your gym should have:

Clean bathrooms – toiletries stocked, trash emptied, clean toilets and sinks

Clean floors – you shouldn’t look like you just slid down a chimney when you get off the floor from doing a burpee

Organized equipment – everything should have a place and be easy to find

Sanitizing stations – wipes or spray bottles with rags to allow clients to clean up their equipment after each use

If they can’t clean the bathrooms and organize the dumbbells, what kind of attention to detail will they have when coaching you?

In part 3 we will wrap up our series with what I believe is the most important factor when choosing a gym…Culture.

See ya next time,

Coach Josh

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